The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 9


VETERANS

WWII Army Medic Honored by Public Officials
It's not known how many soldiers from
Nebraska survived the Christmas Eve
1944 sinking of the SS Leopoldville.
But one man still living in Omaha
today saw his life reshaped by the
troopship tragedy.
Seventy-one-year AHEPA Life
Member Spiro Moustakes, then a
24-year-old Army medic, spent a few
hours aboard the doomed transport
early that morning but got off before it
sailed. The graduate of Omaha South
High School and the University of
Omaha had been called up from his

billet as a medical lab technician at a
military hospital in England because
so many medics had been killed in the
Battle of the Bulge, which had been
going on for weeks in Belgium and
Luxembourg. German riflemen were
said to be targeting medics.
"We marched all the way to
Southampton," Spiro said of the English
port city from which the Leopoldville
sailed for Cherbourg, France. "They got
us on board ship. For some reason they
told us 'We're not able to do anything
for you.'"

Brother Moustakes (center) proudly displays his Army medals.

www.ahepa.org

Spiro returned to his barracks and
traveled on Christmas Day instead.
Only later did he learn about the sinking of the Leopoldville, which military
authorities kept quiet.
Spiro worked for months in a hospital at Mourmelon, France, with the 326th
Airborne Medical Company, which had
lost 30% of its members in the Battle of
the Bulge. He recalls participating in a
relief convoy to Bastogne, Belgium, to
aid soldiers who had been encircled
there by German forces.
After Germany surrendered, he was
sent to Austria. There he visited the
Eagle's Nest, Hitler's mountain retreat
at Berchtesgaden, where he claimed a
doorknob. After the war, Spiro worked
as a lab technician for years at Omaha's
old Doctor's Hospital. Now 96, he is in
hospice care. In late October, Gov. Pete
Ricketts and former U.S. Rep. Brad
Ashford (D-NE) presented him with
copies of his Army medals in honor of
his service during the war.
Governor Ricketts stated in
November's "Honor Them" publication,
"Service and sacrifice:" "This week, we
honor our nation's current and past
members of the military during annual
Veterans Day observances across
Nebraska and the United States. This
past weekend, I had the privilege to
help honor one of our Nebraska veterans. Spiro Moustakes of Omaha fought
in the Battle of the Bulge in World War
II, and applied years ago for the medals he earned in the line of duty. Now,
71 years since his service concluded,
he finally received his medals thanks to
the assistance of the Nebraska National
Guard, which presented them to him at
his home on Sunday."

Spring 2017 ยท THE AHEPAN

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http://www.ahepa.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Ahepan Spring 2017

The Ahepan Spring 2017 - intro
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 1
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 2
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 3
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 4
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 5
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 6
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 7
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 8
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 9
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 10
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 11
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 12
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 13
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 14
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 15
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 16
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 17
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 18
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 19
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 20
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 21
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 22
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 23
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 24
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 25
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 26
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 27
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 28
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 29
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 30
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 31
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 32
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 33
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 34
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 35
The Ahepan Spring 2017 - 36
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